Letter to America

Dear America (The United States of, … and Puerto Rico, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Virgin Islands, and Wake Atoll),

Today is election day. As I write this, polls on the East Coast are closing. Obama is, according to CNN.com is currently got 199 Electoral Votes, while McCain has 78. Obama has the lead in Florida and North Carolina, although both are close contests. He’s already take Ohio and Penn. And he’s pretty much got the west coast states locked up. Most predictions have Obama winning this thing overall and I think it’s a pretty sure thing myself. Historic voter turn outs. Huge, gigantic, important election.

I didn’t vote. (gasp)

Now I know what you’re thinking. “But Mike,  you’re a smart guy. You have opinions. You should go in and  push a button (or pull a lever, or punch a dimple … whatever)” … and yes, it is true. I could do that. and yes, it is true, you do think with parenthesis. But still i didn’t vote.

It’s been said that those who don’t vote, don’t get to complain. George Carlin, a much funnier and smarter man than me, has already commented on this stupid saying while talking about politicians sucking (as well as the people who elect them).

  • “I have solved this political dilemma in a very direct way: I don’t vote. On Election Day, I stay home. I firmly believe that if you vote, you have no right to complain. Now, some people like to twist that around. They say, ‘If you don’t vote, you have no right to complain,’ but where’s the logic in that? If you vote, and you elect dishonest, incompetent politicians, and they get into office and screw everything up, you are responsible for what they have done. You voted them in. You caused the problem. You have no right to complain. I, on the other hand, who did not vote — who did not even leave the house on Election Day — am in no way responsible for that these politicians have done and have every right to complain about the mess that you created.”

George Carlin is not the reason I didn’t vote. However, I do agree with his point.

My friend Tim, told me I should vote, and that it didn’t matter who i vote for. I could go in and vote for mickey mouse and that would be good enough. First off, I understand that when it comes time to analyze the poll data, maybe it is more important to see a registered voter mocking the system than it is to see a registered voter not show up. It does say something. But I don’t care about poll analyzes … i simply care about the results of the vote, not the conclusions reached by behind the scenes political minds who simply are trying to mold the next candidate already. In the here and now, the tally of the vote is the important thing.

New Jersey has voted democrat in the last four presidential elections. new jersey was never considered a battleground state for this election. had i voted, it would have been for Obama.

But here’s the thing. Elections are about more than the vote for presidency. And I am uninformed on every thing else that would be on the ballot. I have no clue what house or senate seats i would be voting on. i know dick about state position candidates, let alone county and township. And I feel an uninformed voter is the most dangerous thing in a democratic society. Your civic duty is to vote your conscience, not simply to vote. The saying ‘it doesn’t matter who you vote for, so long as you vote’ is asinine. It may not matter to me whom you vote for, but it should matter to you. And if you are uninformed, then you are ill-equipped to make a thoughtful decision.

I am uninformed. I didn’t vote.

And yes, it wouldn’t be hard for me to have become informed, and thereby gaining the ability to make an informed decision. However, I am lazy and often unconcerned. Most of you out there are too. You feign interest. but really, you are just fed up with the status quo, without really looking for alternatives … in 2004 John Kerry’s campaign was centered on that, so his entire strategy was ‘at least i’m not bush’ … now, yes Obama is charismatic, and seems to be a good choice, and doesn’t seem to be just spouting party rhetoric, but how deep does anyone really look?

those of you who did go out and vote today, do you really feel you know what you voted for?

going back to Carlin one more time:

  • “Next time they give you all that civic bullshit about voting, keep in mind that Hitler was elected in a full, free democratic election.”


Michael Hochman
Non-Voter, reserving the right to complain


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